Chapter 38, "And That's When All Hell Broke Loose"
The weird cube glowed brighter, brighter, until it nearly blinded all of us. Everyone watched, stunned into stillness, staring, curious. Even the Blobbersons were watching.
A beam of light shot out of the cube and hit Wemjox full in the face. Um. Faces. It surged from the cube, creating an anchoring link, and I watched as they began to rise into the air. It looked as though the cube pulled something out of them, but I didn't know what. They swiveled and swirled around themselves, in and out of the light, and finally, something exploded in their vicinity. The light went out and Wemjox plummeted to the ground.
Or anyway, something plummeted to the ground. For a few startled moments, everyone stared at the creature that landed. It certainly looked nothing at all like Wemjox. It was bigger, for one thing. Lots bigger. And scabbier. And it had this ugly, hangy skin. And it looked, quite frankly, friggen' evil.
We didn't have much time to stare before it leaped back up, growling and snarling hideously. It roared something incomprehensible. In my head, I could almost hear Wem's voice bitching about how insolent I was being or something. I'm sure that's what this creature would have been saying if we could understand it at all. It waved the brain-sucking gun at me, firing haphazardly, missing me due to the awkwardness of their new form. But eventually, one of their shots wouldn't miss, and then what would happen?
"Hey," Christopher whispered, leaning into me. I jumped. I'd almost forgotten there were other people around. "Can I shoot at them now?" she asked.
"Yes, please," I nodded.
She began firing. Whatever the cube had done, it must have knocked down their force field, because the shots actually hit them. They let out loud howls with each impact.
"Yeah!" Christopher cried. "Take that, little bitch!" She fired again, knocking the gun out of their hand.
Once Christopher started shooting, everyone else came back to life. They were all moving now. Xlormp pulled out his own weapon, which he'd stashed in his slime folds. Jessica armed herself as well. They both joined the attack on the super-Wemjox-beast-from-hell.
The Blobbersons burst into action. Stu called out orders to his crew. "Slay the nasty one but keep Frig alive! I still want her!"
Between shots, Christopher said, "We're going to have to take out the Blobbersons, too. They're not leaving without you."
I stared at her, feeling kind of helpless. Here were my friends, the only ones that had stuck up for me when Wemjox wanted nothing more than to break my spirit, and they were defending me while I stood, useless.
Christopher must have sensed my discontent, because she tossed me a weapon (I seriously have no idea where she was keeping all these things), and winked at me. "Looks good on you," she said, and returned her attention to the Wemjox beast.
This thing wouldn't die! And it seemed to be growing, though I don't know how. I glanced to see if Lou was okay. He and Mr. Haberdash looked perfectly in control of the situation, ordering the robot army to attack at will. The clanking metal machines were more than happy to comply, with Hector 2.0 at the forefront.
Blobberson after Blobberson sent attack after attack. In between my own blasts, I noticed streams of laser vision, heard the crunching of breaking bones, caught one of them flying around in a blur, and I even saw a searing pan of freshly sauteed onions flying at the Wemjox beast's head. I'd never considered the potential for onions in battle. Shows what I know.
But Christopher, she lead the brigade. "Tabitha! Lexington!" she called out. "Come grab a weapon and help us!"
I searched for Tabitha and Lexington, realizing I hadn't seen them since the cube started glowing. They cowered in the door frame, trying to watch the action and make sure everyone was okay, but clearly terrified to join in. Lexington shook her head.
"Lexington! Get your ass over here and pick up a weapon. No one gets out of this unless we all do. Understand?"
Tabitha nodded, and tugged on Lexington's sleeve to encourage her to leave their safehouse. Finally, I watched them join our side, picking up guns from Christopher's ample stockpile.
The battle raged in full blast. I didn't have any clue what was going on. I poured all of my focus into my trigger finger, and aiming at Wemjox. All of my anger, all of my shame, all of my uncertainty, everything I'd felt ever since that obnoxious creature had been born flowed through my trigger finger and out of the gun. And into the skull of my now defenseless child. Blasts of light and color from every angle obscured my vision. I heard screams on all sides, but I couldn't check if anyone was hurt. I had to bring this creature down. I had to. Nothing would mean anything if I didn't.
The minutes stretched on. I worried that I might be trapped here in this cacophany of explosions and screams forever, that we might never get out of it, that I may never fondle Xlormp again. And then, with a wild yell, Christopher's weapon shot once more, hitting the Wemjox creature full in the chest. It finally, finally stopped roaring. Its legs swayed like jelly, to the left, to the right, and then it fell, landing with a violent crash on the grass.
"It's over," Tabitha whispered.
"No, it's not," Christopher corrected her, turning her attention to the Blobbersons, who were still glowing with fight-induced power.
"It's time to collect you, Friggen' Gorgeous," Stu said.
I shook my head. I felt stupid doing it. I mean, obviously, the big bad aliens weren't going to say, "Oh, well, we were going to take you away with us, but since you shook your head, we have seen the error of our ways and will leave you here to live in peace and happiness." But the thing is, I really didn't want to go.
"You'll have to go through all of us to get to her," Christopher said, nodding at the makeshift army we'd managed to form.
"Right," Hector 2.0 declared robotically, marching up and positioning himself between me and the Blobbersons. "You see, I love Frig, and you are going to have to take me down if you want her to go with you."
"That shouldn't be a problem," Stu sneered, and, in a movement so quick I almost didn't see it happen, he signaled for the Blobbersons to fire.
A shot of electricity rippled through the air, hitting Hector 2.0 straight in his face. I stared helplessly as his metal knees buckled, folded, and collapsed.
"NO!" Christopher screamed, dropping her weapon and running to her brother.
I heard Lexington scream, too, but she couldn't move. Neither could I. I could only watch as Christopher fell over the robot that used to be her sibling, panic on her face, hands frantically pressing the "reboot" button to no avail. "No, no, Hector, please, no. NO." My eyes burned but no tears came out. My heart ached but I couldn't cry. I could only stare. At Stu. Who was smiling.
"Anyway, if you don't want anyone else to die, you can just hand over Friggen' Gorgeous and we'll be on our way," he said.
"That's not in the itinerary," I heard from behind me. Klaxie! It hadn't occurred to me that I didn't see Klaxie anywhere during the battle. But I saw him now.
Holding a Sploober blaster.
And he fired. The purple dust filled the air, clouding the Blobberson's vision, dulling their glow. He fired again. More purple dust. One by one, the Blobbersons fell to the ground.
And then there was silence.
So I'm posting this chapter early because I'm ON THE ROAD, driving to Hoop Camp in California, and I have no idea if I'm going to be around the Internet tomorrow. So you get this chapter EARLY, yay hooray!
The Breaking Dawn auction is over, crazy mad congratulations to asklepiades for winning! And thank you so much to everyone who bid! You guys are nuts. I never, ever, ever expected it to go for that much. I almost feel embarrassed saying how much it went for. You can just go look. *shakes head* I REALLY APPRECIATE IT, THOUGH!!!